Today, GameCareerGuide has published my post-mortem of The Nameless Mod, which they call “one of the most interesting total conversions out there”. I structured it in the traditional form of Game Developer post-mortems, and it starts like this:
If we’d known what we were getting ourselves into, we’d have run away screaming. The Nameless Mod for Deus Ex stands out for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s a single-player total conversion, which isn’t the easiest or most popular category of modification on the internet. Secondly, it’s enormous: The Nameless Mod features over 14 hours of voice-over, the average length of a playthrough is 15 hours, and that’s just playing one of two significantly different, mutually exclusive plotlines. Third, and arguably most notably, The Nameless Mod has been finished and released to very favorable reviews.
The project was in development for seven years, two months, and 11 days by an international team of hobbyists who never met each other. It placed enormous demands on communication, leadership, and quality assurance, and to top it all off, it started as that most reviled of genres: forum fan fiction.
And then I go on to talk about the development process and describe 5 things that went right and 5 things that went wrong, in the usual fashion. It’s as honest as I could make it, and I hope people will find it interesting and perhaps even be able to learn something from it or at least gain some inspiration.
The post-mortem may be found here.
The Nameless Mod
Australian games magazine PC PowerPlay has reviewed The Nameless Mod in their June 2009 issue. The review takes up 2 full pages and ends with ratings of 10/10 for Gameplay, 9/10 for Innovation, 7/10 for Polish, and 9/10 overall. There are also numerous TNM references throughout the magazine, including a mention on the cover and a review editorial explaining why the magazine chose to review TNM as a game rather than a mod. You can check out a few scans on Jonas’ Blog. The Nameless Mod can also be located on the magazine’s cover disc.
A good taste in games is something the Australians share with the Germans: GameStar, perhaps the best-selling computer gaming magazine in Europe, has given TNM a full-page review in their June 2009 issue, giving it a perfect score of 5/5 in Design, Scope, and Fun.
In addition to these impressive reviews, a couple of interviews have also been published with members of Off Topic Productions: GameSetWatch and Gamasutra have interviewed Jonas and Lawrence as part of a series of articles looking at alternative games, indie titles, and mods. Among other things, the interview deals with how it was possible to keep the team interested for so long and how the game’s design has changed during development. You can check that out here.
PCPowerPlay, not content with all the coverage they’d given us in their magazine, has published a 3-page interview with Lawrence, Jonas, and Shane on their website. The interview touches such topics as post-release support and why non-linear games are so interesting. Read the full interview here.
The Nameless Mod